Friday, May 27, 2011

Women ATCs

These ATCs were created for Swap-bot's Free Theme ATC.  I started playing around with some cutouts from stencils that were painted with acrylic paints when I did the gelatin monoprints on a commercially printed floral-paisley print.  Once I laid out the cutouts I selected some women's faces from Dover's Women in Illustrations Clipart book that I had previously colored and cut out of cardstock.  I felt another element was still needed so I selected a bird themed stamp.  Each card then got a couple of finishing touches.  The top left is titled, 'North Africa', the top right, 'Pakistan' and the bottom, 'Leta and the Swan.'  I hope my swap partners enjoy them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dragon Fairies and Dr Who

What do they have in common?  Not much, they are just the current subject matter of my most recent ATC's.  The Dragon Fairies swap theme was just that but the the Dr Who card is for a steampunk swap.  The dragon fairies are supposed to be a hybrid creature.  I drew a few prototypes and realized they were all male.  That is when the couple below evolved.  The Dr Who card happened as I was looking around the Internet for some steampunk machines and found Alex Holden's Steampunk Dalek and thought it was perfect for my peering Victorian gentleman.  My image is enchanced by minature brads.  (And by the way, this season of Dr Who is one of the best so far, even if my heart still belongs to David Tennant.  OK and this week's episode is written by my favorite writer, Neil Gaiman.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gelatin Printing On Fabric

Today Beth (who wanted to remain faceless), Maureen, and Janalee came over to investigate gelatin printing with me. Beth and I prepared cookie sheets and pie tins of gelatin last night. This morning when we began we had some difficulties. While, it was not too hard to remove the gelatin from the pie tins, it was practically impossible to get it it out of the cookie sheets in one piece. We decided to leave the gelatin that was in the cookie sheets and work directly from the tray. We used foam brushes and brayers to apply water soluble fabric paint onto the gelatin's surface and then layered stencils, paper cutouts and plant materials over the paint layer.

We printed on prepared for dye cottons (fabric from Dharma.) Lay the fabric on the paint and press your hand or hard brayer over the fabric.  The picture on the left shows two layers of paint and you can see the brush marks and stencils clearly. 

This image is a 'ghost image'.  That is, the paint that is left over after the first print and the stencils are moved.  The stencils can be flipped, and repositioned.

When you are done with your original and ghost, just wipe the plate gently with a damp paper towel and on the the next image.
Here, Janalee used one of her stencils as a stamp.  She painted it orange and then rolled the brayer over it. 

  Eventually, the plates fall apart.  I had a lot of fun.  The process is very tactile, a little messy but inexpensive and requires little special materials.  I think I will try it with the kids when they come home.

Further resources:  Pokey Bolton of Quilting Arts has a great 'how to' blog article.  Linda Germain has very good video on Youtube on gelatin printing on paper below. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tree Topper Doll

This has been a good year for catch-up.  I have been completing many projects that were put on the back burner last year because of moving and a new baby.  The most recent project I have completed is Leta Benedict's Tree Topper.  This doll is made with no legs but has a way to attach the doll to a tree or her stand.
I have significantly changed the costuming of the original pattern and added wings.  Her costume is an amalgamation of Medieval and Renaissance elements made from silk, velvet and bits if lace and trim.  I have also beaded a crown over hair made of soy roving.  All of her costuming is hand sewn.  I haven't decided what she will hold in her hands yet and welcome suggestions.  I hope she will become and heirloom of our family's holiday decorations.